Sarcopenic obesity as an independent risk factor of hypertension

J Am Soc Hypertens. 2013 Nov-Dec;7(6):420-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jash.2013.06.002. Epub 2013 Jul 30.


Low muscle mass has been associated with arterial stiffness. The aim of the study was to determine whether sarcopenic obesity is associated with hypertension. Subjects consisted of 6832 adults who participated in the 2009 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Participants were classified as normal, sarcopenic, obese, or sarcopenic-obese based on the following measures: waist circumference and appendicular skeletal muscle mass divided by weight (ASM/Wt). The sarcopenic-obese group had systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels that were ≈12 mm Hg and 5 mm Hg higher, respectively, than those in the normal group. Compared with the normal group, the odds ratio (OR) of having hypertension for the sarcopenic, obese, and sarcopenic-obese groups were 2.48 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.89-6.16), 3.15 (95% CI, 2.76-3.59), and 6.42 (95% CI, 4.85-8.48) times higher, respectively. When waist circumference and ASM/Wt were used as continuous variables in the same regression model, ASM/Wt was a significant predictor of hypertension (OR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.89-0.98). Sarcopenic obesity is associated with hypertension, while low muscle mass is also correlated with hypertension, independent of abdominal obesity. Abdominal obesity and sarcopenia may potentiate each other to induce hypertension.

Keywords: Sarcopenia; abdominal obesity; muscle mass.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • Hypertension / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Obesity, Abdominal / epidemiology*
  • Obesity, Abdominal / pathology
  • Prevalence
  • Republic of Korea / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Sarcopenia / epidemiology*
  • Sarcopenia / pathology
  • Sex Distribution